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Children of Paranoia

(Children of Paranoia #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  639 ratings  ·  134 reviews


Rule Number One: No killing innocent bystanders.

Rule Number Two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.


Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause that he believes in but doesn't fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 8th 2011 by Dutton
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Rule Number one: No killing innocent bystanders. The large majority of this world does not know that this war is raging on beneath their noses. Those people are to be protected at all costs. No collateral damage. The penalty for killing an innocent bystander is death."

"Rule number two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen no matter what side they're on. Until you turn eighteen you're considered an innocent bystander."

The contenders are grouped in three groups. The first are the soldiers
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Imagine a typical day in your life. You get up, get dressed, go to work or school. You take your kids to the park, make dinner, visit friends, learn salsa dancing. Now imagine that all around you, hidden beneath the ordinariness of life, is a War, an invisible War but a War nonetheless. You have no idea, but all those unexplained deaths? Assumed suicides? Shootings, stabbings, car accidents - they're not accidental, nor are they mindless. They're certainly not unexplained, just not to you.

Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am not even going to lie. The title of the book hooked me before I even read the synopsis. Then I read the synopsis and knew I had to get a copy for myself. I am so glad I did.

For me, while the book started off a bit slow, it still allowed me to dive into both the characters and the story. Once the story gets going, it really gets going and before you know it you are kneed deep in suspense, drama, action and intrigue. I think it's a real testament to Trevor Shane's ability as a writer to be
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Joseph fights for the other side. There is a war going on and you are either on one side or the other. Neither side is really the good guys as they all kill. It is kill or be killed. There are some rules that both sides do have to obey. Yes, even wars have rules. If there were no rules there would be chaos and no one would win. There are three important rules:

Rule 1 – No killing innocent bystanders. If you do, the punishment is death.

Rule 2 – No killing anyone under the age of eighteen. This is
Suspense Magazine
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
You read about death every day, see the reports on television. Some are called ‘accidents.’ The murders seem senseless and go unsolved. Did you know, however, there is a secret war going on all around you, every day? It is being waged by two sides intent on killing the other. “Children of Paranoia” introduces you to this war. It will show you some of the participants, but the reason behind the killings are, well, as one character says, “One side is good, one side is evil.”
Twenty-five year old
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
“Rule No. 1: No killing innocent bystanders.”

And so begins the set of rules that governs the War waged in the pages of “Children of Paranoia” by Trevor Shane. (Hardcover, 384 pages, Dutton Adult) The book, a diary written by assassin and front-line soldier Joseph, is the first in a trilogy slated for publication Sept. 8.

The book took a few chapters to get me really interested in it, but once I was, I finished it in two sittings. It’s fast-paced and interesting, and the particulars of the War are
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Children of Paranoia" is one of those books that I normally wouldn't have picked up, simply because it is a bit outside of my normal reading genres. After reading this book, I am so glad I did! Trevor Shane weaves a tale that is both extraordinary and believable, keeping the reader turning pages in an effort to find out what happens next.

First, I have to say that I have my fingers and toes crossed that Trevor is currently (or has already completed) writing a sequel to this debut novel. Seeing
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, read-in-2012
*It should be noted: I read an arc... but I'm not sure the issues I had could be fixed with simple revisions.*
I thought this would be an interesting read... I like assassins and dystopians and don't mind some gore. But it switched between past and present tense way too often. I know it's supposed to be a journal, but really? People's names are used *way* too frequently in conversation. We know who's talking, no need to beat us with it, and it comes across as totally unnatural. It felt a bit
Blood Rose Books
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In Trevor Shane's debut novel, he takes the reader into a secret War that is occurring throughout the world one side good the other evil. You are either born into the War or not, but if you are born into it you must follow the rules, if you break the rules, you become a target for both sides.

Every War has it rules , break the rules and it doesn't matter which side you are on, you becomes a target for everyone. At the age of 16 Joseph was told about the secret war that his family has been
I had a hard time getting into this book from the first brutal murder in the opening pages. At first I thought maybe it was because it was from an assassin's point of view, but I've read other books with that point of view. Then it hit me. It's urban dystopian - this isn't life in the aftermath of a disaster, it's a disaster in the middle of everyday life. If you follow our blog, you are probably aware that I am not a fan of dystopian novels. The world can be an ugly enough place, I don't need ...more
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
There is a secret war raging right under our noses. Our narrator, Joseph, is a soldier in that war however you and I would call him an assassin. At the heart of the novel is the power of propaganda. That people will fight for something without really understanding the why of it. Just that it must be done and to do otherwise is to live in perpetual fear.

Curiosity is not a valued trait in a soldier. What is important is the ability to follow orders without question. With that in mind, it is easy
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a dystopian novel, and an unusual one for me, since I hadn’t read a novel where the hero was an assassin. In the first chapter itself Joe kills a woman and the murder is described in quite a bit of detail. And while I’ve watched “assassin” films (a la Jason Bourne) and seen people kill each other on screen, reading about it is a whole new level of unsettling.

Joe then, starts off as a very unlikely hero. Still, the author manages to build Joe up as a sympathetic character, because he is
Allison Kraft
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
I don't like to write bad reviews, so this is all I'm going to say about why I didn't like this book as much as I expected.

It's the first in a trilogy, so I get that the author can't wrap up every loose end in the first book. But this one frustrated me because I got to the end and nothing at all had been explained. I had no more information about "The War" than I did on page 1, other than the rumors the soldiers heard, which didn't explain anything very well even if they were true. I kept
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book really does live up to its name in which all the characters are fighting, running from, or speaking about this unnamed War. No one seems to know how it started, how long it's been going on, or who are the leaders everyone just knows that they will either kill or be killed.

I enjoyed the first person and journaling feel of the text. I think it was especially effective during some of the action scenes and the scenes filled with suspense because you can really get a feel of how paranoid
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The premise of the book was very original. There were some aspects of the books premise that lacked structure and depth. For example,more information on the background and persuasion that took place for the main character to get to the point he is at at the beginning of the novel.

On the other hand, the book is a page turner that I finished over a Saturday and Sunday. I would recommend that a friend.
Robin Kempf
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was interesting, and violent as one might expect when the narrator is a soldier/assassin in an underground War. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I looked at some of the other reviews and found that the things they didn't like were things I did like. I liked the vagueness of the War, and how Joe was steadily questioning it. I liked how the book didn't answer those questions. I liked how the book was in journal form, written to Maria. I liked how you didn't even know who Maria was ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andreea Daia
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, arc, thriller
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.

I'm on page 243 as I write this first part of my review, but I thought I would write a few comments down before I forget them.

So far the reading had been mostly fast-paced and interesting. There is a war that had been stealthily going on for the last few hundreds of years. No one
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
All wars have rules!
1. No killing innocent bystanders.
2. No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.
3. Have a child before you are eighteen, the child must be turned over to the other side.

Children are indoctrinated at the age of 16 and begin their war training. On their eighteenth birthday they become the hunters and the hunted in the war of "us" vs. "them".

The war has gone on for generations, fought all over the world, with two distinct sides "good" and
Between the Covers
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
REVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:

I won't lie... the blurb drew me in. But I had a few reservations after reading some early reviews. I'm so glad I didn't let them deter me. Children of Paranoia was non-stop action, intrigue and emotion from the first page. This book was such a surprising read for me... in the space of 180 pages, Shane had me caring about a murderer and the girl he loves, hoping things work out for them, and tensing in anticipation of the next plot twist.

Joseph is
Louise / BetweenTheCovers MonsterMaX3 / Lou is Cullenized
REVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:

I won't lie... the blurb drew me in. But I had a few reservations after reading some early reviews. I'm so glad I didn't let them deter me. Children of Paranoia was non-stop action, intrigue and emotion from the first page. This book was such a surprising read for me... in the space of 180 pages, Shane had me caring about a murderer and the girl he loves, hoping things work out for them, and tensing in anticipation of the next plot twist.

Joseph is
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Children of Paranoia is a book that made me think thriller more than dystopian. The world is basically the same as it is now for the “civilians” clueless about the secret war going on around them. If you are involved in the war you spend your time either assassinating the enemy, gathering Intel on the enemy, or hiding from the enemy. It will have readers biting their nails and reaching for an antacid. This is one of those high-strung reads that barely leaves you a moment to breathe. The first ...more
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is somewhat difficult for me to review. There are so many things I absolutely loved about it, but some of it drove me crazy.

First, the writing. I really like Shane's writing and I sincerely hope he continues to write. I look forward to reading his future work. The pacing was just lovely. Never a single minute when I was bored with this book. Also, no real info dump, but the information was well presented for this 'alternative' world. The book is a bit heavy handed with the
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to receive a copy of this through Net Galley.

“Children of Paranoia” starts off with a stalking and a murder…which in itself is not unusual. I thought this murder would be the basis for the story. I was wrong! It was just the tip of a very large iceberg.

Joe is the murderer above, actually “trained assassin” would be a better title. Joe is a foot soldier in a war none of us know even exists. There are 3 rules of engagement for this war. 1) No killing of innocents. An innocent would
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow! A sadly intense and thought-provoking book that just left me asking, "why?". Why are these people fighting this war? Why are they expected to give up their humanity to do so? Why do perfect strangers become friends and allies while life-long friends and family hurt you? Why can't people look past differences? Why don't more people question authority? Why is love so powerful an emotion it can make you forget all you were taught to believe in.
It took me a couple of (long) chapters to get
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
So this book is totally different from my usual genres. That being said.. I really enjoyed it! I actually commented on Goodreads while I was reading it wondering what genre this book is and guess who commented back?! Trevor Shane!! He took the words right out of my mouth and called it a genre stew. I love it. I would label this book as dystopian, action-packed, adventurous, suspenseful with a splash of romance.

The main character, Joe, is an assassin. Yup, he definitely kills people for a living
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've been putting this off for a while, so I think it's time to get it over with and write this hard impossible review.

The main point is: I liked this book. I truly did. I found the writing absorbing and the plot engrossing, the characters were so human that I could feel their emotions and the ending was so unexpected that I was shocked for some time afterwards. (And yeah, I spilled some tears, too.)

So why do I feel like I can't possibly choose a reasonable rating (nor express an opinion, for
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
The rules, the cover and all the postcards I got in the mail (marketing from publisher) made me think this was a YA book.


This book is a heart-pounding adult thriller, a la James Bourne. And it was good, real good.

The first chapter is a bit macabre; the main character is killing someone. I know what you’re thinking, how can you relate to a killer? Well, you can. Joe is a solider not a murderer, following orders that he thinks will help bring peace between the two warring factions.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I came across Children Of Paranoia while looking through the new release section of the local book store. It may have been the bright yellow cover or maybe have been the title written in large letters next to a blood drop that drew me to picking up this novel by the unheard of by me Trevor Shane. After reading the first paragraph of the insert, I knew that this book seemed right up my alley.

The premise behind the book was incredibly captivating, a secret war wages between two sides and the
Lillian Powell
Apr 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
I picked this up as an advanced copy to try something new - hopefully an easy and exciting book about secret organizations and murders, which the back of the book promises and the first half of the book delivers; however, the second half can be best described as "uninspired bible fanfiction" with a side of creepy. Once you meet the main character's underage girlfriend that he impregnates in their first week together you should just put the book down, it does not get better.
On the writing style:
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Trevor Shane is the author of the Children of Paranoia trilogy. His books have been published in countries across the globe and the film rights to the Children of Paranoia trilogy have been optioned by CBS Films. Trevor lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.

Other books in the series

Children of Paranoia (3 books)
  • Children of the Underground (Children of Paranoia #2)
  • Children of the Uprising (Children of Paranoia, #3)
“I'll see you tomorrow,' I finally said.

'Tomorrow,' you echoed. We hung up without either of us saying 'I love you' for the first time since we'd first said it. At that moment the word TOMORROW meant the same thing. Nothing else needed to be said.”
“Matt lead those kids through a whole cycle of emotions, from fear to anger, from anger to hate, from hate to hope. It was somewhat sanitized, somewhat canned and rehearsed, but it was marketing genius. I knew how to kill people. Matt knew how to convince people to want to kill. I'm pretty sure that there's more blood on his hands than on mine. I remember leaving the meeting when I was sixteen - frothing at the mouth, ready to start killing. The meeting gave me a purpose. I was sixteen. All I wanted was a purpose. Now, I sat watching Matt's little presentation and felt nothing. Now I had my own reasons for hating the enemy. I didn't need the slide show anymore. War will do that to you.” 2 likes
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